PR articles



"What kills the skunk is the publicity it gives itself. " -Abraham Lincoln

Read a recent review of Dan Wiley's Keynote Speech HERE.

The following articles have been reprinted with permission by National Publicists, Garis PR. An excellent publicity firm located in southern California.

Advertising Alternative

The extreme cost of advertising is no longer in the budget for many entrepreneurs. Mainstream magazines, newspapers and broadcast media are all very expensive. Most requiring minimum commitments that are now far beyond the reach of many. So what's the alternative? You have to promote or go out of business.

More than ever, companies are turning to the enormous power and cost effectiveness of professional publicity campaigns. In fact, publicity can work far better than advertising. Think about it. When you are reading a magazine, what are you paying attention to, the ads or the articles? Yes, advertising can work -- but you have to run it so many times to get people's attention nowadays, few can afford to do it effectively. Whereas, one strategic media interview or feature article can have equal or better results than an entire ad campaign. Just ask those who have been on Oprah.


Imagine The Possibilities

We are always amazed by how few people and businesses truly use the incredible publicity opportunities of today. Think about this -- what would the great promoters of the past century be doing if they lived in our time? What would the legendary showman P.T. Barnum or Colonel Tom Parker (promoter for Elvis) be doing today if they had the Internet? What would they be doing with global TV, and media that reaches millions of people at once? Audiences and possibilities they could only dream about are now a reality. Today, anyone with an exciting topic, business or talent has advantages far beyond those of the past. The biggest mistake is wasting it. None of it does any good if you don't use it. You have to go after publicity with a passion. If you want to be on top, put your all into it. Spend a few bucks to hire a publicist. Work hard at being creative and newsworthy. Give the media something they can't resist. It's all there for the taking, but you have to grab it.


Getting The Media To Look

We are constantly asked about various paid press release distribution services. The prevailing question being -- do they work? At first glance, they sound like an economical, fast and easy way to do publicity. The problem is, the media doesn't seem to pay much attention to them. They primarily use established contacts and traditional sources where journalists carefully screen and select the material being distributed. Paid distribution services run just about anything, and that seriously limits their credibility in the eyes of the media.


Blackberry Anyone?

Everything about the media now moves at lightening speed. If you want to successfully work with the top media, you have to adapt to their rules. You can't take three days to respond to an E-mail or phone message. Reporters and producers want and need answers quickly. If you can't be responsive, they will just book another interview guest. They are too busy to play phone or E-mail tag. By the way, this new high speed style of doing business applies to more than just the media. Everyone who is a successful player in the entertainment, literary, modeling, sports and any other high profile industry nowadays gets this principle. With mobile E-mail, cell phones, WiFi and laptop computers -- nobody has an excuse for slow response anymore. In other words, if you snooze, you lose !!


Hire A Publicist To Get The Deal

Whether you are an author seeking a book deal, an actor looking for better roles or a speaker seeking more bookings -- media exposure can make all the difference. In fact, almost any career today can be publicity driven. Consider this, if you were a publisher wouldn't you be far more interested in an author who had lots of media and name recognition? It's also no coincidence that the actors with the most publicity always get the best roles. It's the same with speakers and experts getting the best engagements. Ultimately, it's all about your level of exposure and publicity.


That's The Way You Do It

You have to be clever and original today to get the media's attention. Even the best publicist can't help you if you're not doing something newsworthy and unique. Here's a case example -- there are thousands of fitness instructors and personal trainers seeking publicity. The media has been there, done that. It's not news. However, one smart fitness instructor recently gave her classes a unique, controversial and sexy spin. She installed a few poles and began giving classes in "How To Strip" for your husband or boyfriend. She incorporated an exercise routine into the classes. The result was a tidal wave of publicity. Her story and classes were covered by all the major networks and news shows. It not only made a unique story, but a very visual one that was perfect for TV. Now, she is franchising out all over the country. That's the way you do it. Be totally different.


Get The Right Attitude

Your public image and media success ultimately depends on your own attitude. Are you constantly negative in your thinking? Do you believe you just can't come up with something original and exciting? Are your topics far too serious, complicated and heavy for today's mainstream pop media? Are you less than confident about your ability to be a great media guest?

Well, if you don't believe in yourself -- why would the public and media be attracted to you? If you are just offering dull material, who would want to hear that? Our experience has been that whatever you think is exactly what you will project to others. Successful media guests have plenty of self-confidence and personality. They are upbeat, positive, creative and fun to work with. They make their topics and delivery entertaining and dynamic. No matter how good your information, product or story is -- you must present it in an exciting way or you won't get very far. The good news is, the right attitude can take you wherever you want to go.


Location, Location, Location

Having a publicist in the right place is an important element for publicity success. Much of this business is about networking. It's about building media contacts and developing personal relationships. It's about going to the right events, schmoozing at parties, taking producers to lunch, etc. If you're not located where the media elite are based -- those things are pretty tough to do. Corporations hire Washington D.C. based lobbyists, because that's where the decision makers are. The same holds true for PR. Your publicist should be where the action is. SoCal is now the world's leading media center.


Plan Ahead To Get Coverage

The more lead time you can give to the media the better. When promoting a feature story, product or event -- give the media ample advance notice. Remember, the media is always subject to hard breaking news first. They also receive hundreds of submissions each day. Feature items must wait their turn. In other words, don't contact the media on Monday about an event you're doing on Wednesday. A minimum of several weeks notice is normally expected and required. The more powerful the media, the farther out they tend to work. Top national shows and magazines often work months ahead. Proper advance planning is the key to great feature coverage and publicity.


It's Not About Press Releases

A corporate event and stage entertainer recently contacted us with the following message -- "I hired a marketing firm that did not know what they were doing and the results were terrible. I have had no press coverage and small audiences of four to ten people as a result of dropping 12,000 post cards, 16,000 E-mails and 500 letters with a press release."

We hear this tale all too often. People have wasted their time and money with the wrong type of approach. That's because strategic publicity is NOT just about sending press releases. As any top publicist will tell you, it's a business of contacts and influence.


Have A Realistic Approach

Is your story really right for Oprah or Time Magazine? Many publicity seekers fail to take a realistic look at the news level of their material. They waste a lot of time and money pursuing media they can never get. A better strategy would be to focus your campaign on the media you have a real shot at. Top national TV shows and magazines are great -- if you've got an appropriate story or topic. However, there are also thousands of other powerful publicity opportunities. Radio shows, regional TV, newspapers and special interest magazines are all seeking feature material.


That's One Smart Mouse!

Disney theme parks are defined by their overflowing crowds. A recent article in PR Week Magazine offered a look at the strategy that helps keep them so successful. In interview, Michael Mendenhall (EVP of Global Marketing for Disney Destinations), explained how important PR is in the Disney equation. He noted that integration of all marketing disciplines is essential. However, Disney starts with the PR. Even before bringing in the advertising agency. He says,"PR is incredibly important. I do believe it comes before commercial messages." He goes on to explain that PR legitimizes the idea and the organization. It brings endorsement and credibility to the message. We couldn't agree more.


As Seen On TV

Remember those all important quotes -- "as seen on," "as heard on" and "as seen in" ...

Be sure to display and use your media appearances in all your material. You should list your media appearances on your web site, in your brochures, CV, book jackets and anywhere else the public interacts with you or your product or service.

People respect a solid media resume. Most believe that a media appearance is more or less an informal endorsement of the expert, author or business. It carries a lot of influence. Listing your appearances is an important aspect of taking advantage of your publicity. By doing so, you extend the power of the appearance far beyond the original listening or reading audience. We have clients who are still taking advantage of media appearances they did years ago!


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